If you were to be asked to design a new colour laser multifunction printer, what areas would you want to improve? Would you go for lower consumable costs? Less maintenance? Faster speed? Duplex print? We wonder how many of you would say a large touchscreen for control or the ability to e-mail it, directly. Judging from the design of HP's LaserJet Pro CM1415fn, the last two are its choices.
It's a good-looking design in cream and dark grey, quite angular, but broken up by some smooth curves to the tray of the 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and the surround of the touchscreen. This is a full-colour, 89mm display with a series of fixed touch buttons down either side, to. It's very responsive and makes it easy for HP to design individual controls for each of the printer’s four functions: print (including direct USB print and ePrint), copy, scan and fax.
The ePrint function is similar to that offered on the HP Photosmart Wireless B110 and is set to become a feature of most HP laser and inkjet printers. It means you can e-mail a document directly to the printer, assuming it's linked via its network socket to an Internet-connected router.
You maintain a list of permitted users of the function on HP's server, which should eliminate printer spam, but we've yet to be convinced how useful this feature will prove in practice.
I know we keep banging on about it, but the size of its paper input tray makes a lot of difference to the amount of attention a printer needs, and therefore the TCO. Supplying a business laser multifunction with a 150-sheet paper tray and no multi-purpose slot, as here, is daft. Somebody will have to load the printer every couple of days. In this case, it doesn't even seem to be a ploy to sell extra paper trays, as there is none listed in the accessories available for the machine.
At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet and HP will also market the LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw, a version with wireless network support. The printer comes with separate software CDs for Windows and OS X and drivers for many different versions of Linux are available to download.
The combined drum and toner cartridges slot into a rack, which pulls from the front of the machine, and are very easy to install and replace. They appear to be the only consumables required.